Comic Review: Batman, ‘Death by Design’ – by Chip Kidd and Dave Taylor

The inspiration for this comic came from a demolition of a building in Pennsylvania. The plot? It forms around the demolition of the Wayne Central Station, following the construction union representative who wants to use the land for his own enterprises, and Miss Syl who wants to preserve the building. So… to get this straight, this comic is about the building industry with a little bit of batman on the side. Is this a good comic? Not in my opinion.

This is the most mundane batman storyline I have experienced; surely Kidd could have come up with something a little better than that? You know it’s going to be bad when you could pretty much take Batman out of it, and it would be a business document. It follows the world of construction business and then, quite confusingly, we suddenly see the joker sticking his nose in. You start to even wonder why Batman or the joker is there. They could be off fighting each other in a much more interesting and twisted series of events, but instead they’re interfering in the business between the union and Miss Syll: who we have no reason at all to care about besides her feminine wiles.

The one good thing I can appreciate in this comic is the artwork. The drawings are beautiful and highly detailed. However, they could still do with a little bit more colour: though I guess grey fits the mood for the plot. And I’m unsure whether this is a general comic representation of the Joker, but he looks like he’s aged horrendously and been converted into an android. And his ‘twist’ entrance is completely confusing and unnecessary.

Overall, I’m disappointed that beside the drawings, there’s little good I can say about the comic. I was expecting great things from DC, but this just didn’t meet my expectations.

Rating: 3/10


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